Playing at the blues bars of Chicago’s South Side in the Forties, Muddy Waters began to assemble what appears to be, in retrospect, the prototypical rock band.
Waters found he couldn't command much attention unamplified in a crowded, noisy club. So in 1944 he bought his first electric guitar. As a vocalist, he developed a raw and impassioned shouting style.
His groups, which played with all amps cranked, consisted of bass, drums, second guitar, piano and harmonica, with Waters on slide guitar and vocals. He and a shifting company of stellar sidemen played hard-edged, unadulterated blues, but his bands had the earmarks—in size, volume and attitude—of rock combos to come.